FINNISH PHONE FIRM Nokia claims that its fightback in the smartphone market is on, and the Lumia 800 Windows Phone 7.5 (WP7.5) Mango device shows signs of promise.
On first appearance the Lumia 800 bears a striking resemblance to the Nokia N9, which was released in selected European countries and uses the Meego operating system (OS).
The Lumia 800 exudes high quality craftsmanship, with the one-piece injection moulded plastic body even being scratch resistant. The device is comfortable to hold, but isn't the lightest on the market as it weighs 142g.
Nokia has integrated a 3.7in AMOLED screen with 480x800 resolution. Colours are crisp and blacks are particularly, er, black when compared with other devices. Brightness also seemed very good as we were using the device in a low light environment.
With Microsoft having already laid down specifications for the WP7.5 Mango OS before Nokia signed its deal with Microsoft, the Finnish firm has been unable to make hardware substantially different from other devices made by HTC and Samsung.
The 1.4GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM are not the highest specifications around, but the device has been optimised get the full benefit from the software, much like Apple has with the IOS. This makes the Lumia 800 extremely responsive, and there is no noticeable lag.
The WP7.5 OS will probably attract more business users to the device, as it comes with enterprise features such as the Mobile Microsoft Office suite. One key features that sets the Nokia apart from competing Windows Phone devices is the 8MP camera with a f2.2 aperture lens and an optimised flash. This continues the impressive legacy from the N8, which had a very good camera.
Nokia has also managed to sneak in a few of its own apps, the highlight of which is Nokia Drive that provides free voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, a first for Windows Phone devices.
With a price of €420, the Lumia 800 isn't cheap, but with the services on offer and good performance it could be winner. Nokia is still behind when it comes to the core specifications, but as Apple has shown, raw processing power isn't everything.
Nokia is set to embark on its biggest marketing campaign ever with the Lumia series, so expect to see the device plastered everywhere in the next few weeks. The INQUIRER will have a full review up soon, but here is a video demo in the meantime. µ